Canadian same-sex marriage faces U.S. challenge

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Adamant that Canadian views on same-sex marriage shouldn't be allowed to define American law, a New York county is appealing a recent landmark U.S. court ruling that forces the border state to fully recognize gay couples wed in Canada.

In a unanimous Feb. 1 decision that drew attention across the U.S. for its precedent-setting potential, a New York appeals court ordered the Monroe County Community College in Rochester to grant full spousal benefits to two women legally married in Canada in 2004.

The victory for college employee Patricia Martinez and her partner Lisa Golden was hailed by gay-rights advocates as a major breakthrough in the fight for marriage equality. But it has sharply divided Republicans and Democrats in New York and beyond, fuelling a nationwide debate over same-sex marriage heading into this year's presidential election campaign.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & Family* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Canada

Posted February 24, 2008 at 8:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Harvey wrote:

If I can remember correctly there are numerous across the border law decisions that the US will not recognize or has not recognized.  (One I can immediately remember is - Mexico (or is it Canada) has no death penalty and as such will not extradite murderers to the US unless we throw them in jail for life.  Comments please!!

February 24, 9:30 pm | [comment link]
2. robroy wrote:

One of two things can happen with this. A precedent setting judgment by the influential SC of NY will revoke this. Or outrage at foreign law incursions into N.Y. law will aid calls for a defense of marriage bill.

February 24, 11:58 pm | [comment link]
3. Branford wrote:

Harvey - You’re right about Mexico. Usually what happens if the U.S. wants someone back enough, they agree to forego the death penalty and agree to life without possibility of parole. Then Mexico will extradite.

February 25, 12:48 am | [comment link]
4. Bill Matz wrote:

While the facts could be somewhat clearer the NY decision appears to be an astounding reversal of long-settled law. It does not appear that the appellants were ever Canadian legal residents. Accordingly, longstanding law does not permit them to “forum shop” for a marriage venue and then return home. Their home state has exclusive jurisdiction over domestic matters. That is why the Dominican, Mexican, etc. divorces were never valid. You do not escape the reach of your home state’s domestic laws merely because you take a 48-hour romantic weekend to a foreign locale and find a wedding chapel that says you ar married.

February 25, 12:54 am | [comment link]
5. Larry Morse wrote:

Oh, here we go again. When does America get sick and tired of such exhibitionism? The problem is that there is no sunset law for such opportunism. This “marriage’s” validy should get struck down. The NY Supremes have done what the Mass Supremes did, that this, invade the territory of the legislature as of the separation of powers applies to everything except far left agendas.  LM

February 25, 1:30 am | [comment link]
6. Katherine wrote:

Yes, and if this “marriage” is found valid following the inevitable appeals, then plural marriages will have been legalized as well.  If it’s legal for a man to have more than one wife in Pakistan, then he can bring them all here, by this logic.  And then, why prevent U.S. men from having multiple wives if it’s legal for immigrants?

New York voters should begin to think more clearly about whom they elect and what kinds of judges their elected officials will appoint.

February 25, 3:09 am | [comment link]
7. Dave B wrote:

Does anybody know th caliber of this court? The ninth circ court in Califorinia is the most reversed in the country.  Is this a super lib court?

February 25, 12:36 pm | [comment link]
8. billqs wrote:

A little clarification here might help.  The Supreme Court in New York is not the *top* court in New York, it is an intermediate appeals court.  The New York Court of Appeals is the final stop.  So, there is one more stop within New York at the Court of Appeals that can hopefully overturn this horrible precedent.  If not then the County can apply for a writ of certiori to the US Supreme Court to see if they will take the case.

February 25, 1:11 pm | [comment link]
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